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Due to political and economic situations, combined with the fact that the Iranian passport holders can only travel visa free to 13 countries, visa on arrival for 31 countries more and more high net worth Iranian citizens are looking to get a second passport. Yet despite the high demand from Iranian citizens to receive a second passport, there are only two countries that allow Iranian applicants to apply to their programmes; Turkey and Dominica.  Here we lay out the best investment options for Iranian citizens to get this coveted second passport. 

Turkey is by far one of the most popular citizenship by investment options for Iranians, with them taking up 22% of the country’s total applications, with more and more individuals seeing Turkey as a more viable option for a second passport. In the past few years, the number of approvals for the programme has increased by over 1000%. Whilst a Turkish passport may not be as strong as the Caribbean countries offering similar programmes, it still enables holders access to 125 countries visa-free, as well as easy access to the USA, UK, EU, Canada and Australia, making it still considerably stronger than an Iranian passport.

Its popularity with Iranians can be put down to a number of factors. First of all, it is one of only a  few CBI programmes that allow Iranians to apply. Secondly, the country is geographically close and culturally similar to Iran, with both countries following the same religion, and have been historically well connected, thus making cultural assimilation into the country easier.

Turkey is also the only CBI program that Iranians are eligible for and it grants citizens eligibility for the USA’s E-2 visa. What this means is that Iranians that get a Turkish passport, will be eligible to apply for American residency through the E-2 programme, a much quicker and more cost-effective route than the main US immigration routes, such as the EB5 programme.

An added benefit to Turkey’s CBI programme is that there are very minimal requirements for the programme other than having the right amount of funds and passing the due diligence check, which verifies that applicants do not have a criminal background and that the money has come from a legitimate source. Unlike other programmes, Turkey has no stay or language requirements. This means that you will not have to visit or reside in the country in order to gain citizenship. Further to this, applicants do not need to learn the Turkish language, nor renounce any other citizenship the applicant may have. In terms of financial benefits, Turkey has liberal taxation laws, with no taxation on worldwide income. Turkish authorities will also not ask individuals to declare their wealth. As such, citizenship from Turkey will allow individuals to utilise much better tax planning options, making the most of any income that is received. 

Lastly, Turkey offers the best route to citizenship via real estate investment. Whilst other programmes offer citizenship by investing in real estate, Turkey offers much greater flexibility in terms of the type and location of the property. To get a Turkish passport via the real estate option, applicants have to invest $250,000 in any Turkish property, which must be held for at least 3 years, after which it can be sold. What’s more, property investors in Turkey can expect to see a handsome return on investment both in terms of rental income and with capital gains, whereby buyers can sell their property after a number of years and seek profit on their initial investment. 

Whilst the real estate option is one of the most popular routes to Turkish citizenship, it is not the only route. One other way is for applicants to deposit $500,000 into a Turkish bank account, put the capital into a real estate investment trust, or use it to purchase government bonds, all of which must be held for 3 years. Whilst an easier way, it does require significantly more capital. There is, however, another way to gain Turkish citizenship that does not require a minimum investment amount, and that is to create a job for 10 Turkish citizens. This would primarily be done by creating and setting up a company in the country. 

Dominica’s CBI programme is also another popular option for Iranians due to there being significantly less upfront capital and its access to more countries visa-free. Situated in the sunny Caribbean, Dominica offers individuals and their families citizenship for just $100,000 in the form of a one-time donation to the country’s Economic Diversification Fund. This will give successful applicants visa free access to 137 countries, including the EU, UK, Russia, and all the Commonwealth countries. A key difference to going through this route to Dominican citizenship, and Turkey’s citizenship programme, is that the capital is non-refundable. There is, however, a real estate option for Dominica’s CBI programme. Individuals can invest $200,000 into a government approved real estate project, primarily a luxury hotel development, Whilst a cheaper option, it is worth bearing in mind that investors will have a very limited choice in where or how they invest, with the exit options for these projects sometimes being difficult. That withstanding, Dominica has a very strong passport, especially when contrasted to Turkey’s passport. 

Overall, whilst there are a limited number of countries that allow Iranians to gain citizenship by investment, there are a considerable number of investment options to receive these passports. To gain a better understanding of the different investment types that Iranians are eligible for, contact Bridgeway Trust advisors for a FREE consultation. Our immigration experts will be able to provide detailed explanations on which route to citizenship is best for you and your family. 

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